Volunteers from Wisconsin’s Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands (FOPPI) were blessed with near–perfect weather this past September that allowed them the opportunity to safely land at Lake Michigan’s Pilot Island Lighthouse near the east entrance to Deaths Door Passage and do some much needed clean up.
This was the first chance the group had to remove debris left behind from 2009 when a new roof was installed on the Pilot Island Lighthouse. Volunteers loaded old shingles into tubs, which were then carried to the pier and dumped into large trash bags designed to hold over 3,000 pounds of construction debris that would later be picked up by a barge and hauled to a waste disposal site.
The pictures tell the story. The elements, time, and neglect have all taken their toll on the 1858 lighthouse and the 1904 fog signal building, which is in shambles. Although the lantern room of the lighthouse is also in bad shape, a modern LED light, which looks out of place in the historic tower, warms mariners of the treacherous shoals in the surrounding waters as did the beacons that preceded it in the tower.
The island is part of the Green Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Pilot Island Lighthouse was originally named Port des Morts Island Lighthouse.
For more information on how to get involved with the Friends of Plum and Pilot Island go to www.PlumAndPilot.org. All photographs courtesy Tim Sweet, Friends of Plum and Pilot Islands.
This story appeared in the
Nov/Dec 2012 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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